SocraticGadfly: Abortion allowed? Yes, but "how much" and for "how long" in a pregnancy?

May 09, 2022

Abortion allowed? Yes, but "how much" and for "how long" in a pregnancy?

In light of the SCOTUS leak, the Trib reports that 78 percent of Texans think abortion should be allowed in some form. Bold is very necessary on this issue; here's the poll, which does not put options for what allowances for abortion people accept within a trimester framework.. I think most Texans — including a plurality of Democrats, although perhaps not a majority — don't want third trimester abortions without a fair range of restrictions. Outside maternal life or health issues, I don't want them. (And, yes, that means no "rape or incest" allowance. If the adult, on rape, or the minor child, on incest, hasn't reported it before being visibly into a pregnancy at the six-month mark, then when? And, otherwise, though framing it differently than the Religious Right, I do see a "liberty interest" based on fetal viability.

Update: Addressing the concerns I have with the Trib piece, 538 has good polling details on how much Americans support abortion AT what stage of a pregnancy and WITH what restrictions. That said, even its opening question is weaselly with "all or most circumstances." One of those is not the other. What the poll also shows, as 538 notes, is that many Americans don't understand Roe, and don't know that it might be more radical — and certainly was more radical when the ruling came down in 1973 — than they realize.)

Update 2: On Twitter, Ryan Burge (via Kuff) claims that a majority of Americans favor "abortion on demand" at all times. His polls don't agree with what 538 et al show. nor does he cite his original source, assuming that that source is not himself. He does work for Religious News Service, and is an academic, but has copyrighted by himself on his graphs. 538's second-trimester info is so much different than his, and falls in line with what I've read elsewhere, I am taking him as wrong.

In short, I'm in that "great muddled middle" that some pundits talk about, with the exception that I'm not muddled at all. First trimester, since, unless Roe is officially overturned, we're stuck with the trimester system? No restrictions outside parental notification for minors. Third trimester? Nothing other than maternal life or health.

Second trimester? The feds could let states have their say fully and freely here. Personally, I'd split the trimester in half and extend the no restrictions out there to the 20-week mark, then after that, the material life and health, maternal mental health, rape and incest, and previously undetected fetal abnormalities.

That said, as a few liberals and a few leftists acknowledge, Roe was badly written as case law. Rather than penumbras and emanations, Blackmun should have gone straight to unenumerated rights, with privacy, including reproductive privacy, being one of those. Unfortunately, he was working off Griswold, where Bill Douglas went that way. (Or, better yet, Blackmun could have used Goldberg's concurring opinion in Griswold, which specifically cited the Ninth Amendment, making a very rare appearance in constitutional law.)

Meanwhile, despite the fact that Democrats of the first two years of Dear Leader's first term squandered chances to federally codify Roe, and Obama his own self was OK with back-burnering it, the old canards about how Greens in 2016 "really voted for Trump" are rising again. Not true. I voted against both Trump and Clinton by voting for Jill Stein. (And, I considered Mimi Soltysik, and wish I would have. Google him yourselves.) And, in 2020, I voted against Trump and Biden AND Howie Hawkins. I may undervote the presidential race in 2024 if I don't vote Green and/or don't have a leftist write-in option. I can tell Dems right now I'm not voting Biden.

As for WHY Obama decided to deprioritize this? Maybe because national Democrats thought it was a good fundraising issue. Well, Republicans play "politics of outrage" better.

As for the FACT that Obama did "back-burner" the Freedom of Choice Act, I discussed that and more a week ago.

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